This is one of the easiest mindfulness meditations there is. It is perfect for beginner, intermediate and advanced mediators. There are more profound meditations, but they take time to master, while learning to be present with your breath takes almost no time at all. Of course, you can get better at it as you will find as you practice.
Mindfulness meditation is about being present in the moment. In reality, now is all there is. The future is unknowable, and the past is done and gone. Being in the moment eliminates all consideration about past and future. Being in the moment eliminates all worry, anxiety and fear because they are dependent on time.
The human body is always in the moment. If you get stuck with a pin the pain you feel is immediate, not in the future or past. (Okay, technically there is a small time gap, but not enough to concern us in this study.) But, staying present with the body can be a lot harder than staying present with the breath, which is also always in the moment.
Staying present with your breath through simply observing it will keep you present in the moment. You become connected to the breath through your observation, through being present with it.
You can do any breathing technique you like with this meditation, including none. I recommend starting with no technique; just watching your normal breath. As you progress you can watch some of the breathing practices videos and use one of those techniques for greater benefit.
You can do most meditations with your eyes open or closed. Eyes closed will likely be easier and better for this meditation, but it really doesn’t matter if you prefer to keep them open. You can always change during your meditation if you like.
Start by sitting comfortably. A general meditation recommendation is to sit without leaning back against something so your energy can flow freely up and down your spine. However, it is more important for you to be comfortable. Also, you can be lying down which makes this a great bedtime practice since it can also help you fall asleep.
The practice is as easy as the name suggests. Simply pay attention to your breath. Notice as it goes in and out. Notice any pauses at the top and bottom of your breath. Just sit and ‘be’ present with your breath.
Being present is a form of mindfulness meditation. Noticing your thoughts is another. Both are important to any meditation practice. As you watch your breath you can simply notice your thoughts without trying to do anything about them. Going back to your breath will likely cause any errant thoughts to leave.
If your thoughts distract, you won’t be watching your breath. Using will power to bring yourself back to your breath will increase your ability to stay present in other situations. Losing yourself is getting caught up in your thoughts.
Set a reasonable time for your meditation. Meditating at the same time every day will make it a habit in about three weeks time. After that you can increase the time as you like. Keeping the time increase small works best. An increase of one minute every ten days works best for most people.
Stay present with yourself by staying present with your breath. It really is that easy for this simple meditation to bring you to and keep you in the moment.